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11 Best Neck Massagers for Pain & Stress Relief

best neck massagers

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If you suffer from neck pain and tension, you’re not alone. As we conduct more of our lives online, often hunching forward and looking down at our screens, experts say neck pain has become an epidemic.

The best neck massagers will relieve your tension and help you live a more pain-free life. Read on to discover the best options, including percussion and shiatsu massagers.

(Looking for a gift? Neck massagers make a great gift for anyone! We also included a percussion massager in our guide to gifts for new moms.)

What Are the Best Neck Massagers for Stress and Pain Relief?

cordless shiatsu neck massager with heat Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Convenient
  • Heats and massages
  • Pain relieveing
Price: $63.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
medcursor shiatsu massager, neck massager, best neck massager, shiatsu neck massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Robust massage
  • Heat option
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
shiatsu pillow, neck massager, best neck massager, shiatsu neck massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Massages and warms
  • Very portable
  • Ergonomic design
Price: $64.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
personal percussion massage gun Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Powerful percussion
  • Six speed operation
  • Multiple attachments
Price: $53.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hand held back and neck massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very affordable
  • Interchangeable massage nodes
  • Provides deep muscle massage
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
easy@home professional grade TENS electronic pulse massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Interrupts pain
  • Simple and intuitive
  • Effective for long term use
Price: $76.78 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tens and ems massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • TENS and EMS capable
  • Dual channels
  • 12 massage modes
Price: $64.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
electronic pulse massager, neck massager, best neck massager, best tens unit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Multiple massage modes
  • Relieves pain
  • Eight patches to treat multiple areas
Price: $45.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
professional two speed massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Professional grade
  • Very robust massage
  • Covers a lot of muscle area at once
Price: $145.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
3d shiatsu neck massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Pretty to look at
  • Three massage intensities
  • Heat and massage
Price: $33.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cordless neck massager Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Overheating protection and auto shut-off
  • Cordless design
  • Works on other areas of tension too
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Snailax Cordless Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager

    Pros:
    • Eight massage nodes and two different intensities
    • Far infrared heat increases circulation and effectiveness
    • Automatic shut off feature
    • Pressure can be adjusted by using the arm slings
    Cons:
    • Arm slings are too short for some
    • Massage intensity can feel too rough
    • Heat function isn't warm enough

    If you’re looking for the perfect combination of convenience and relief, the Snailax cordless shiatsu neck massager is going to make your life so much simpler and better. Take this massager to the office, camping or on travel because you’ll never need to worry about plugging it in. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you’ll get 70-80 minutes of relaxing massage before needing to recharge. 

    Slip this around your neck and let the shiatsu massage roller’s eight massaging nodes deliver sweet relief. With two different massage intensities, you can add to the pain relief by using the far infrared heat. That soothing warmth helps to increase circulation making your massager more effective, and it just feels good while you’re using it. 

    We think you’ll like that it features an auto shutoff after 15 minutes, as well as the 24 month warranty against defects. If you don’t mind the cord you can save some cash by buying the Snailax corded shiatsu massager.

     

  2. 2. Medcursor Shiatsu Kneading Corded Massager

    Pros:
    • Super affordable
    • Eight bi-directional massage rollers target acupressure points
    • Features heat and massage
    • Lightweight design
    Cons:
    • No apparent warranty
    • No mention of auto shut-off feature
    • Massage rollers are hard and can be uncomfortable to some
    • Handles are too short for some

    Similar to a few other shiatsu massagers we’ve looked at, this particular model gets our nod because it’s the most affordable of the group. With three speeds and two directional movements, you can operate this neck massager on high, medium, or low, as well as use the heat setting to alleviate muscle tension and discomfort.

    With eight massage rollers that give an impressive massage experience, it works on your acupressure points to loosen tightness, lessen headaches and ease joint and muscle pain. Despite the lower price, and the lack of any warranty information, it gets impressive reviews that are nearly as high as the top-rated model.

  3. 3. Zyllion ZMA13BRV Shiatsu Pillow Massager

    Pros:
    • Good massage along with heat
    • Attaches to your car seat, and has a cigarette lighter adaptor
    • Ergonomic design fits perfectly on your neck or in the small of your back
    • Auto shut off feature
    Cons:
    • Unit doesn’t bend, so it’s not suitable for curved areas of the body
    • Massage nodules don’t fit everyone’s neck equally well
    • Pretty rigid and not very pillowy feeling
    • Massages too hard for some

    Convenient and portable, this clever shiatsu pillow delivers a robust massage on nearly any part of your body. With four deep kneading, rotating nodes, and an easy to turn on heat function, you can use this neck massager at home, or with the convenient strap attach it to the neck rest of your car, for convenient stress relief on long drives.

    It features a power cord with an adaptor that lets you or your passengers enjoy its soothing effects because you can simply plug it into the cigarette lighter. The massage nodes are set up to automatically reverse directions during each individual massage session, so you won’t get sore from too much repetitive motion in the same area.

    This neck massager is designed with a mesh inset to allow heat to efficiently flow to your most painful areas, relaxing sore muscles with warming comfort. It has a 20 minute run time, with an automatic shutoff feature, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on too long.

    At just 3.5 inches deep, this portable neck massager isn’t bulky, making it especially comfortable under the small of your back, or under your legs, as well. It comes with a one-year warranty, and a 90 day money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied.

    For just ten bucks more, you can get a similar neck massager with eight rotating balls, for a deeper massage sensation.

  4. 4. Exerscribe Personal Percussion Massage Gun

    Pros:
    • Attachments for small and large muscle groups as well as deep tissue massage
    • Very powerful with up to 2400 strokes per minute
    • Articulating handle makes it easy to reach your sore spots
    • Aids in fast muscle recovery
    Cons:
    • Uncomfortably loud for some
    • Quite expensive
    • Gets kind of hot in the hand with long use

    If you’ve ever gone to the chiropractor with a stiff muscle, you might have experienced a massage gun like this one. This powerful personal percussion massager is not for the faint of heart. If you’re hoping for a quiet, Zen-like relaxation treatment, you’ll be disappointed. This gun means serious business and that means it’s a little loud but extremely effective if you’re looking for quick muscle recovery. 

    This massager comes with three massage tips to perform separate functions –  a standard ball works on small muscle groups, a large ball works on large muscle groups and a cone delivers deep tissue massage for real pain relief. 

    With six different speeds, this powerful percussion tool vibrates at  500-2400 strokes per minute, depending on the speed you select. It also features an ergonomic handle, easy-to-use power push-button, and an articulating head that has been designed to allow you to reach many of your pain points yourself – but it’s always more fun with a helper. 

  5. 5. VIKTOR JURGEN Handheld Back Massager

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • Intense percussive action
    • Three different massage nodules to target different issues
    • Variable speed control
    Cons:
    • Too heavy to hold for a long time, especially when working on your neck and back
    • No heat option
    • Massage action too robust for some

    The Viktor Jergen handheld massager takes a completely different twist on neck and shoulder massagers. This percussion massager has super intense action, with up to 3,350 pulses per minute to loosen your tight muscles and ease neck pain. The long, anti-slip handle means it’s easy to maneuver over your shoulders and up and down your neck.

    With the advanced deep tissue massage and infrared physiotherapy, this unit improves blood circulation as it helps to relieve pain and knots in every part of your body. It features a dual-head design with three sets of interchangeable massage nodes that target tough to reach pressure points, massage your scalp and do deep muscle massage on other areas of the body that hold stress and tension.

    With a variable intensity, this massager allows you to have as robust an experience as you’d like. The conveniently long 9-foot power cord makes this easy to use in any room of the house.

  6. 6. Easy@Home Professional Grade TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

    Pros:
    • Very easy to use on your own
    • Frees you to do other things while tackling muscle tension
    • Almost immediately relieves pain
    • Recommended by chiropractors
    Cons:
    • Not the same relaxing feeling of a regular massager
    • Less effective on large areas
    • A bit on the pricey side
    • Instructions are difficult to understand

    An electronic pulse massager like this model will send tiny electrical currents into your muscles, disrupting the pain signals from your brain, and sending signals which cause gentle muscle contraction to help ease away tightness and tension.

    You may be wondering what TENS stands for, so let’s clear it up. It means Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, which might sound like quackery to you, but believe us, this therapy has been used by doctors for decades, to improve physical and muscular health.

    With this massager, you surround your tender areas like the neck and shoulders, with tiny electrodes that conduct the electrical signals to your muscles. With three different settings – massage, beat, and knead – you can customize the perfect massage experience for your needs.

    With 20 power levels for intensity, from very mild to extremely powerful, five automated massage programs, and three traditional massage modes, you can customize your treatment to give you exactly the relief you need. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can give you up to 120 minutes per session, multiple times a day.

    This is our top pick for the best neck massager in the TENS category. It comes with four electrode pads, and an elegant leather bag to store your massager and accouterments.

  7. 7. TENS Unit & EMS Combination Muscle Stimulator

    Pros:
    • Both TENS and EMS capable with the ability to use them simultaneously depending on the mode
    • 12 pain relieving massage modes
    • Enhances muscle recovery
    • Dual channels can run different modes and intensities at the same time
    Cons:
    • Stronger intensity levels can cause some discomfort
    • Screen inconveniently times out and goes dark during sessions
    • Pads don't have a long shelf life

    When you’re desperate for pain relief, but you’re on a tight budget, there’s no financial room for professional massage treatments. That’s why we think this TENS unit is a total bargain considering its many features. This nifty device acts as an electronic nerve stimulator to interrupt pain and as an electronic muscle stimulator to enhance recovery.

    This unit features 12 massaging modes, and dual channels that can be programmed independently to perform different functions at the same time. The easy-to-understand unit comes with four electrodes – two per channel. Set your timer for up to 60 minutes of nerve and muscle stimulation, all while you’re busy doing something else. We love that convenience. 

    With 20 intensity levels, you can customize your treatments to be convenient as well as efficient. We think this TENS and EMS unit has so much more functionality than many, and we think you’ll be impressed by the fact that you can utilize the TENS and EMS functions simultaneously in certain modes. 

     

  8. 8. iReliev TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

    Pros:
    • Relieves pain fast
    • Easy to use
    • Dual channels allow you to target different areas with separate therapies at the same time
    • 25 speeds, and eight electrodes, for total customization
    Cons:
    • More expensive than some in the category
    • Electrode pads need frequent replacement and they’re expensive
    • Lead wires aren’t long enough
    • Instructions can be confusing

    This electronic pulse massager is a bigger system, only in that it has twice as many electrodes to target and help to relieve your neck pain or any other pain, super fast. In reality, the electronic controller is merely the size of a credit card, but it controls the electrodes to stimulate muscle contraction, and nerve fibers to block the pain signals to your brain.

    These TENS units used to be hugely expensive, but have come down so far in price that you can easily afford this one to tackle your tough pain issues. TENS units are safe to use, according to experts, and this top-rated model from iReliev has dual channels, so you can use up to four electrodes on one preset therapy program, and the others on a different program and problem area.

    With 25 intensity levels, you can effectively target and tackle your pain, as well as increase endorphin levels – a real added bonus. This unit operates on three AAA batteries that are included with the package, which also comes with a carrying pouch and belt clip, meaning you can use it almost anywhere. Recommended by doctors and rehabilitation facilities, this electronic pulse massager is highly rated as one of the best TENS units for the price.

  9. 9. Maxi Rub Two Speed Professional Chiropractic Massager

    Pros:
    • Professional grade massager that's built to last
    • Delivers a robust deep tissue massage
    • Two speeds to adjust for more sensitive areas
    • Wide massage bed allows for covering a wider area faster
    Cons:
    • Quite heavy
    • Cumbersome to hold and maneuver
    • Not really suitable for self massage

    When you’re looking for maximum relief at a level that’s a step above your standard home massager, the two speed Maxi Rub massager is worth the investment. While this massager isn’t one you can generally use on yourself, if you have a willing partner, this professional massager can calm sore muscles and ease muscle tension from your neck to your toes, literally.

    Used by chiropractors and medical specialists, this massager delivers a robust massage even at the lower speed. You’ll like the fact that the wide massage bed covers a lot of ground fast, but can be used slowly to deliver true deep tissue impact. It’s fairly easy to maneuver once you get the hang of it, thanks to the positioning and shape of the handles.

    We’d recommend a warm towel or blanket thrown over the back and legs prior to beginning the massage to target painful trigger points or to alleviate muscle spasms. A similar massager with the same kind of orbital vibration, the Genie Rub can even be ordered with a sheepskin cover for added comfort.

     

  10. 10. MagicMakers 3D Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

    Pros:
    • Unique handles allow you to manually adjust massage pressure
    • 3D massage nodes with three different intensities
    • Heat can be used separately from massage
    • Cool safety features
    Cons:
    • Appears a bit cheap
    • Massage can be too robust
    • Heat seems wimpy

    Yes, this neck massager is pretty. But don’t let that pretty exterior fool you. This massager means business. This 3D shiatsu massager is good for every member of the family.

    The 3D nodes loosen and relax tense muscles. With bi-directional rotation, they’ll knead the pain and stiffness away. This massager has three intensity levels, as well as a heat mode that can be used separately from the massage mode.  As with many of these over the neck styles, you can adjust the intensity by using the handles to pull the massager tighter tot he skin, but this massager’s got a secret – angled handles that deliver much more pressure control than others.

    With an overheating protection device and a 15 minute automatic shutoff, you can relax and look like a pro while you use this. However, this device does not heat up to as high temperatures as some others.

     

     

  11. 11. NURSAL Shiatsu Cordless Neck Massager Pillow

    Pros:
    • Cordless design makes it versatile
    • Four deep-kneading massage nodes
    • Heats up well
    • Switches direction every minute
    Cons:
    • May not last as long as some other massagers
    • Not designed specifically for neck muscles
    • Shuts off after 30 minutes

    The NURSAL Shiatsu Cordless Neck Massager Pillow is super versatile, and can be used on different areas of your body. Plus, it’s cordless, so you can easily use it anywhere.

    Four rotating massaging balls relax your neck and upper shoulders, while you simply relax into a chair, couch, or the seat of your car. Their bi-directional movement mimics the feel of getting a real massage. The massaging balls switch directions every minute, helping you get the feeling of a real massage.

    With a 30 minute run time and automatic shutoff, you can relax, knowing if you happen to zonk out during your massage treatment, the device will simply turn off. The ajustable straps make it easy to apply perfect pressure, as well as to adjust this neck massager to do a great job of treating tight muscles elsewhere on the body, from your low back and legs to your abdomen.

Neck pain and stiffness, when not actively addressed, can lead to a host of other problems, from shoulder aches to numbness in the hands and fingers. It can make it difficult for you to get a good grasp on everything from your mouse to your coffee cup. It can even impede your balance and coordination, which can be a serious issue.

Many doctors who are experienced in dealing with pain management will tell you that pain builds on pain. Interrupting that pain through massage therapy can help reduce the amount of pain medications you take. 

Since it's almost impossible to find the time, and especially the extra cash, to have regular massage and chiropractic appointments, a neck massager can be your at-home treatment for pain and stress relief, as long as you're not dealing with physical injury issues. Even then, massagers increase blood flow to speed healing and decrease pain.

We wanted to find massage options that work well for a person who lives alone. These individual devices are simple, straightforward, and flexible in terms of how, and where, they could be used - including your home, office, and car. The best neck massagers vary widely, using different techniques for relaxation, stress management, and pain relief. We've broken them down by category, so you can find the choice that works best, feels good, and meets your needs.

Shiatsu Neck Massagers
Shiatsu massage is an ancient Japanese practice, and it literally means finger pressure, although palms and even feet are used in actual practice. Now home shiatsu massagers are widely available. They incorporate rollers and balls that move in different directions to mimic the actual use of hands.

Many offer heat, in addition to the massaging nodules, and they are a great way to get quick relief and relaxation. You'll find shiatsu massagers in full chair cushions that massage from your bum to your neck, all at once, as well as shiatsu pillows, and wrap-around models that are built like slings.

With the latter, you actually have hand-holds that enable you to control the pressure of the massaging balls, so you can get as robust or gentle a massage as you'd like. These massagers also work great for pain and stiffness in other areas of the body. We love them because they're so reasonably priced and super easy to use.

Percussion Neck Massagers
Not to be confused with a standard vibrating massager, percussion massagers have internal hammers that send vibrations deep into the tissues. These offer such robust impact, they may be too much for people in pain to tolerate.

The good news is that most of them have variable settings, which allows you to set the level of impact that feels best on your body. Since we're targeting neck pain relief here, again, we've tried to avoid those units that require two people to use. On the downside, these massagers can be quite heavy, especially if you're trying to reach over your shoulders to target the neck and upper back area.

We've included only handheld units for the purposes of this post, but if you're looking for a percussion massager you can use over large areas of your body, one with a large flatbed is an amazing choice. Although these units definitely require a willing partner to handle, because of weight and speed, they are worth the extra money.

Electronic Pulse Massagers
Small, lightweight and easy to afford, electronic pulse massagers, or TENS units, (which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation,) work on a completely different principle than the rest. They've been used for decades in therapeutic situations, for rehab and recovery from pain, but while they were often unaffordable for the general consumer market, all of that has changed with the easy availability of electronics.

These massagers use tiny electrical impulses both to stimulate muscle contractions and to block pain signals from the brain. On the upside, they can offer almost immediate pain relief - and in the case of tension-related muscle spasms, can relax muscles for more long-term pain management.

They feature a control unit that's roughly the size of a credit card, along with wires that attach to electrodes you place on your body in the painful area. Most are programmable, and some actually allow you to target different pain trigger points at the same time. While they don't feel much like a traditional massage, but their pulsing action can help release tight muscles.

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